Former DCC vice president, former MLA among ineligible voters

A large number of Congress workers found that they do not have a say in primary — the new experiment of internal elections — to choose the party’s candidate for Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha seat.

They include prominent party activists such as party’s State-level spokesperson and former vice president of Dakshina Kannada District Congress Committee (DCC) Kallige Taranath Shetty, former MLA N.M. Adhyanthaya, and former All India Labour Cell Convenor Umeshchandra. Other notable rejections include application of Kanara Chamber of Commerce president Mohammed Ameen. The Congress wanted to include a few chiefs of independent body of traders, doctors and chartered accountants.

While all the seven legislators of the Congress, including the three Ministers – B. Ramanath Rai, U.T. Khader and K. Abhayachandra Jain – are enrolled as voters, the Congress workers are surprised that former Mayor K. Ashraf, who had quit the party, has found place in the list.

The party’s senior leader and the former Union Minister B. Janardhana Poojary is expected to lock horns with founder of NGO MokshaYug Access Harsha Moily, the son of Union Minister for Petroleum and Environment M. Veerappa Moily in the March 9 primary.

Out of the 1,071 applications, the party observers rejected 454 applications saying they had not met the 19 criteria decided by the party high command. Thus, two out of every five applications have been rejected.

Lok Sabha Returning Officer for the primary, appointed by the All India Congress Committee member Preniel Nair told The Hindu that the applications were rejected because they did not meet any of the 19 criteria for the process. However, aggrieved persons could prove their eligibility by 4 p.m. on Friday. The final list of voters would be published on March 2.

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